Let's say the kids are going stir crazy with their summer vacation and you want to go on a quick day trip, or even a weekend road trip, to see some of the cool, quirky, out of the way things Missouri has to offer (or Illinois). Here are some great places to visit for a day or two just get out of town and clear your mind.

Meramec Caverns - Stanton

These glorious caves are a great way to beat the heat, as it's always nice and cool down there, and it's only a quick two and a half hour drive away.

Hermann Wine Trail

If it's just the adults hitting the road, check out Hermann. It's close enough that you COULD do it in one day, but why limit yourself on wine. Go down, get a hotel room, stay the weekend, and enjoy all the wine they have to offer.

Branson

Obvious choice? Yes. Very much. But it's seriously a whole lot of fun and the kids are gonna dig it. My favorite when I went back when I was about 11 years old was the Ripley's Believe It or Not. Loved it.

Jesse James Museum - St. Joseph

The next two are places I went with my dad and grandpa when I was a kid, and it instilled in me a great respect for history and learning. First up the Jesse James Museum in St. Joseph to learn all about the legendary outlaw.

Harry Truman Presidential Library and Museum - Independence

After the Jesse James Museum, head south to Independence for the Harry Truman Presidential Library and Museum.